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MAKING OPPOSING CASES (From left) Former County Commissioner Jon Thaxton moderates a panel discussion among Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White; Don DeLeo, chairman of Sarasota Citizens for Better Schools; and Rod Thomson, president of The Thomson Group. Photo by Rachel Hackney A TIGER BAY CLUB PANEL DEBATES THE MERITS OF THE SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD'S LATEST REFERENDUM ON A SPECIAL 1 MIL TAX If the Sarasota County School District were to affecting student achievement," White pointed lose the approximately $42 million a special 1 out. Because of the referendum funds, the mil tax would add to the budget for the 2014-15 Sarasota district is "able to attract the best school year, the system would have to reduce [teachers]," she added. salaries, cut its guidance counselor ratio and curtail the offering of small classes such as those In a program focusing on the district's fourth for some Advanced Placement (AP) courses, referendum on the tax — scheduled for March Superintendent Lori 25 — White and Dan White told approxiDeLeo, an attorney The quality of the teacher is the with Shumaker Loop mately 200 people at the Sarasota Tiger Bay single most important factor affecting & Kendrick who is Club meeting on Jan. 8. student achievement. chairman of Sarasota "The quality of the teacher is the single most important factor Lori White Superintendent Sarasota County Schools Citizens for Better Schools, defended the initiative to seek

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